We recently took a trip to Orlando, Florida, and stayed at the Margaritaville Resort, Orlando. This resort is basically new as it just opened in January of 2019. There are so many things to like about this resort. It can be a vacation destination in and of itself. Our trip was for five nights, and we stayed in a double queen suite in the hotel.
- Hotel or Cottage?
- The Good…
- The Bad…
- The Ugly…
As you will soon be able to tell, I did not get paid to write this post or comped for the stay in any way. So this Margaritaville Resort Orlando review is just a post about my own experience that I hope you will find helpful.
In then end and overall, I did like it here. The good definitely outweighed the bad for us.
Hotel or Cottage?
You can either stay in the hotel resort portion or stay in cottages next to the resort. My sister and her family stayed in a two-bedroom cottage, so we got to experience both the hotel room and the cottage.
When I first booked the trip, I went back and forth about whether I wanted to stay in the hotel or the cottages. I ultimately chose the resort because I wanted to be close to the pool and all restaurants and resort happenings. This ended up being a good decision for us. The only downside was that our room had just a mini-refrigerator and no microwave. The cottages have a full kitchen, so this is something to consider if that is important to you.
The ultimate reason I ended up choosing the room in the hotel was that I was worried that we would be assigned a cottage that was far from the pool area. The cottage that my sister and her family were assigned ended up being just that. It was about .75 miles from the resort lobby (and pool and restaurants). So when it rained, and they closed the pool due to lightning in the area (which they did a couple of times while we were there), they would be stuck walking back in the rain.
Some shuttles run from the cottages to the resort, but they could never catch one, which was not much help. This may not be an issue for you if you have a car and can drive back and forth. We did not rent a car on this trip, so we did not have one. Staying in the resort, we did not need one. Everything you need is within walking distance.
Two Balconies off the Two-Queen Suite
Since we had booked a two-queen suite in the hotel, two balconies were overlooking the pool area. I loved the lounge chair on the balcony off the bedroom. The other balcony had two chairs and a table.
Sunset Walk is right near the resort and within easy walking distance. There are several restaurants, shops and live entertainment there.
There is also a water park right next to the resort called H2O Live. We went there for a day. It was a short walk, and we had a fun day. The day we were there, the drop slides were not running (which did not bother me in the slightest as I would not have tried them.) My kids were a little disappointed, though. I think the price for a one-day ticket at $59 per person is a bit much for how small this park is. However, the kids had fun, and overall I was glad we went.
There are a food store, “Provisions,” and the Margaritaville store inside the hotel. This was very convenient for coffee in the morning and a snack here or there. They both seemed to close a bit early. I wish they had stayed open later, but it was definitely nice having them right there.
Pool Area and Wait Staff
This resort is lovely, and I found all of the staff super friendly, especially the wait staff at the pool. They are fantastic and work hard in the hot Florida heat to ensure everyone has food and drinks. The pool area is terrific complete with comfortable lounge chairs, pool towels, a pool restaurant/bar called “The Salty Rim,” and a beautiful zero-entry pool. There was also a sandy area near the pool so you felt like you were at the beach.
They had someone conducting poolside games and activities for the kids during the afternoon. There was also cornhole and ping pong among some other games.
They also had live entertainment in the pool area during the late afternoon/evening. Then there was live entertainment at the restaurant “Euphoria” inside the resort at night. The entertainment in the hotel restaurant was excellent!
Wristband Room Keys
Another thing that I loved about staying in the hotel was the wristband room keys. This may seem minor, but I thought this was the best idea ever. As a family of five, we are always looking for a room key. Having it on a wristband made it, so we always knew where it was at. This is a brilliant idea in my opinion!
There were some drawbacks that I think need to be mentioned, however. Most of them were minor, but one, in particular, was not.
Hard to Get Room Cleaned
First, we had a challenging time getting our room cleaned during our stay. We were only able to have it cleaned once during our stay despite asking for it repeatedly. We stayed on a Wednesday through Monday. On Saturday, I accidentally spilled some coffee on my bed, so I needed the bed changed. I had to call down several times requesting housekeeping. Finally, someone came to clean the room late in the afternoon Saturday. When it was cleaned, housekeeping did a fantastic job, but that was the only time our room was cleaned during our stay.
There is a light that you have to make sure is green (and not red) next to the door. As I understood it, if this light was green that meant they were supposed to come to clean your room, but this did not happen for us.
No Sheets, Pillows & Blankets for Pullout Sofa in Room
The day we got there, our flight was delayed for over three hours due to weather. We ended up getting to the resort at about 1:30 am. There were no sheets, pillows, or blankets in the room for the pull-out sofa that we needed since the room slept six and had six. After looking in many places where they could have been stored, my daughter had to go request them at the front desk. This is minor, but not what you want to be doing in the middle of the night when you are exhausted and just want to go to bed. There are lots of places these items can be stored in the room. I’m not sure why they did not just have them there.
“Margaritaville Perks” Never Showed Up
When I booked the room directly through the hotel website, I signed up for “Margaritaville Perks.” I was directed to choose two perks from a list of things, and I chose a $25 resort credit and a fruit and cheese tray. We never received the fruit and cheese tray. I asked for it about 3 or 4 different times and was always told it would be delivered to the room, but it never was.
The shower was clogged the first time we used it. We had to call down to ask them to send someone to unclog it before the next person could take a shower. With six people needing to shower, we had to wait quite a while. We waited so long that we went down to the front desk to request that someone come and unclog it again. Then after asking the second time, someone finally came and fixed it.
Door Between Living Room and Bedroom Did Not Close
The door between the living room and the bedroom did not close, although you could pull it far enough, so there was no crack (unlike the bathroom door below). I think this is a matter of the door swelling from the heat. Just something to be aware of if you need this door to close.
All of the above issues were pretty minor, in my opinion. There was just one significant issue. The bathroom door does not close all of the way! You can see in the picture below that there is always a small crack. The door is a giant sliding door, and it would often get stuck and was very heavy to open and close. We called for maintenance to come and fix it, and after asking several times (yet again), they finally came up. They said they “fixed it,” but it still didn’t close, as you can see in the picture! I think this is a flaw in how the door is made or something.
I really cannot believe that they rent out the room with the door like this. Not only is it annoying that you can’t close it the entire way, but I think it is a safety hazard as well. I literally got stuck in the bathroom twice and had to call for a family member to help me get out. Thank goodness someone was there to help and that I wasn’t in the room by myself.
The door is just so heavy and hard to move on the track that it would sometimes get stuck or move off of the track, and it was difficult to get open. It would take someone putting their whole weight against it from the outside to move it. To me, this was a significant drawback. If you are paying $460+ per night for a suite in the hotel, I think the bathroom door should work and shut.
The door between the living room and the bedroom did not close either, although you could pull it far enough, so there was no crack (unlike the bathroom door). I think this is a matter of the door swelling from the heat. This was not nearly as big of a problem as the bathroom door, though.
So bottom line – would I recommend this resort to a friend? Yes, I would, because we had a fun time and the resort itself is decorated and themed beautifully! There is also plenty to do, and the pool area is spectacular.
I would just tell them to check the bathroom door as soon as they enter the room, and if it doesn’t close all the way, ask for another room, or you will be fighting it the whole time:-)
Also, I have to say that I have never had to call down to the front desk so many times while I was on a vacation before. I am not really a complainer. It just seemed there were a lot of issues with this room that could I not ignore like the clogged shower, the broken bathroom door and the lack of cleaning (which I could have ignored except for the spilled coffee).
But as I stated at the beginning of this Margaritaville Resort, Orlando review, I felt the good in this resort outweighed the bad and we had a good time overall.
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